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The Warsaw Voice » Stage & Screen » January 31, 2013
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Life Without Death
January 31, 2013   
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The Makropoulos Affair, a three-act opera composed by Leos Janacek and directed by Switzerland’s Christoph Marthaler, will premiere at the National Opera Feb. 17.

Polish audiences are familiar with Marthaler, an outstanding theater director, after several plays he directed in Germany were shown at festivals in Poland. The Makropoulos Affair will be his first opera production staged at a Polish theater.

Janacek wrote the opera in the 1920s, basing the libretto on a play of the same name by Karel Capek. The story incorporates the Faust theme, but with a female protagonist. Like the old doctor in Goethe’s play, Elina Makropoulos discovers the secret of eternal youth. Three centuries go by and Elina is a singer by the name of Emilia Marty who one day comes to the realization that a life without death is meaningless.

Marthaler has transformed the opera into a court drama. The Warsaw version has been co-produced by the Salzburger Festspiele. Warsaw audiences will hear the original Czech-language version of the opera with Polish subtitles. The orchestra will be conducted by Gerd Schaller. The performers will include Eva Johansson as Emilia, Raymond Very, Jan Vacik, Anna Bernacka and Jason Howard.

Wielki Theater/National Opera, 1 Teatralny Sq.
Upcoming performances:
Feb. 17, 6 p.m.; Feb. 19, 21 and 23, 7 p.m.
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